ITV and Channel 4 fight to sign up celebrity chef Ramsay

LONDON - A bidding war has broken out over celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who is being offered over £1m by bosses at ITV and Channel 4 to sign up for new projects, after the phenomenal success of 'Hell's Kitchen' and 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.'

The swearing, bad-tempered chef has become a huge star in the last couple of months after his hit performance on ITV1 with 'Hell's Kitchen', which featured C-list celebrities such as former 'Coronation Street' actress Amanda Barrie and 'Brookside''s Jennifer Ellison, and his trouble-shooting restaurant show on Channel 4, 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares'.

According to reports, Channel 4 and ITV are trying to get Ramsay to sign an exclusive golden handcuffs deal. "He's an absolute natural on TV and one of the best talents for ages," said a source quoted in The Sun.

ITV has reportedly offered £1m, while Channel 4 has tabled an estimated £1.2m to sign the former footballer, who once played for Rangers.

Channel 4's 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares' brought in an average of 3m viewers, while ITV's 'Hell's Kitchen' commanded over the 7m mark.

Ramsay has already filmed a pilot show for a Channel 4 entertainment show to be shown on Friday nights. If he takes ITV's offer, it will make him the highest paid TV host an hour, at £3,500 for every 60 minutes.

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